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Sykes starts at the front after cancellation of Tissot-Superpole

Phillip Island (Australia), 25 February 2012: Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes will start from pole position for the third time in his career at the opening round of the year by heading the field after combined qualifying. Tissot-Superpole today was cancelled after a fatal accident suffered by young Australian Superstock 600 rider Oscar McIntyre in a support race before the session was due to start.

Tom Sykes: “Pole position has come with mixed emotions because of some very bad news and first and foremost I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre. As far as our on-track weekend has worked out so far, yesterday we just made sure things were right with the bike and pushed a bit more in this morning’s qualifying session in cooler conditions.”

Second on the grid for Sunday’s two 22-lap Superbike races will be Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) who was 0.54 seconds behind Sykes. World Champion Carlos Checa secured third spot while another Ducati rider, Jakub Smrz on the Liberty Racing machine, completed the front row.

Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli was fifth on his Effenbert Liberty Racing vee-twin, and Leon Camier was sixth on his Crescent Fixi Suzuki. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma Ducati) was an impressive top seven qualifier, with the last place on row two being taken by Honda World Superbike official rider Jonathan Rea.

Infront Motor Sports and the entire SBK paddock offer their condolences to the McIntyre family and all those affected by his loss.

Superpole was cancelled to allow the authorities to carry out the necessary routine investigations regarding the accident. The track was then reopened 90 minutes later than scheduled for the subsequent Supersport qualifying session.

In World Superbike history the last time Superpole was cancelled was at Donington in 1998 due to the snow.

Times: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’31.323; 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’31.477; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’31.621; 4. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’31.783; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.832; 6. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’31.904; 7. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.953; 8. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.959; 9. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.966; 10. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.068; 11. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’32.069; 12. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.082; 13. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.123; 14. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’32.198; 15. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’32.338; 16. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.411; etc.

World Supersport

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) secured the first pole of the season on his Honda CBR600RR with a 1 minute 34.445 second lap, set this afternoon in the final qualifying session. On the combined qualifying sheets a late charge from Bogdanka PTR Honda rider Sam Lowes made sure he would lead Frenchman Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) making it three CBR riders in the top three places.

Kawasaki riders monopolised the next three spots, with Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini), Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) and Sofuglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais completing the top six grid places. Italian rider Alex Baldolini (Power Team by Suriano Triumph) was seventh and the second row of the grid was completed by Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth).

Times: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.445; 2. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.461; 3. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.558; 4. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’34.577; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’34.791; 6. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’34.998; 7. Baldolini A. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’35.013; 8. Nemeth B. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 1’35.296; etc.